1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Zonker Stout - Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

326 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 326
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 110
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub visit their website
Wyoming, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A rich, well-balanced foreign style stout with a huge amount of roasted barley as well as chocolate, black, and caramel malts. The intense roast character is the main attribute of this black colored beer. The alcohol content is 6.0%. Zonker has been recognized time and again as one of the top foregin style stouts.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Zonker Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 326 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marcobrau
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An opaque stout that pours with a nice bit of foam. The intense chocolate aroma is awesome. Starts smooth, almost milk chocolately, and get dry towards the finihs, which is laced with hop bitterness. The taste of chocolate lingers on the palate. I like how the hops are balanced with roasted and chocolate malt flavors. I also really like the dry finish. Could A little roasted coffee flavor wold be nice; otherwise an excellent stout and one I'm definitely going to have again. Unfortunately, this was my only bottle, picked up in Wisconsin at the Brennans market in Brookfield.

marcobrau, Aug 30, 2004
Photo of moulefrite
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid pour-deep and dark with a fat, creamy and sticky cocoa brown head. Aromas hint of espresso crunch candy. The mouthfeel here is unctuous while still balanced with plenty of elegant zip. This is quite the flavor driven beverage! Features include: espresso cream, roasted and nicely bitter coffee bean, bitttersweet chocolate, and a trace of vanillan. This is a real pleasure to drink, and as I do I only want more-most certainly recommended.

moulefrite, Jul 10, 2004
Photo of Bierguy5
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle pours a black liquid with no highlights. Nice thick tan head that stayed for a long time. Nice lace on the glass at the end. Smell is slightly chocolate, but not much else going on. Taste again was slightly chocolate, along with a malt that was so roasty, it almost seemed burnt, (not that this is a bad thing). Lots of hopr bitterness in this one, this is a well-hopped stout for sure. Dry finish. Full-bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation. This is exactly what the mouthfeel of a stout should be. Overall, this is an excellent stout. Very well hopped, but not overwhleming the deep roasted malt character. I will certainly look for this one again in the future.

Bierguy5, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of LarryKemp
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout poured a deep, so deep dark black that when held up to a light it didn't penetrate, black, The dark, tan head was abundant but not overabundant.

The chocolate malts takes charge of the nose. Or maybe it is the coffee. Or maybe it is the roasted. Nothing else but malt seemed to come through, even though they claim to have three hops- Columbus, East Kent, and Tettnang. The hops were flat overpowered.

If I said the malts came through in the nose, well that was nothing compared to the tongue. My, my the seven malts tore up the taste buds. The roasted malts jumped out in the lead but followed by the chocolate. The sweet finish was equisite.

If this stout has one weakness it is its mouthfeel . It is medium and slightly creamy. If it were more creamy, this might be the perfect stout.

This is one of the beers that I think could be used to define a stout. My I cannot say enough about this beer except, I think I will walk into the garage and get another out of the fridge.

LarryKemp, Jun 09, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jet black with the slightest glimmer of light at the edges. Without a doubt, Zonker is the blackest non-Imperial stout that I've seen yet. The head is light-medium brown, pitting, rocky, relatively long-lived and leaves thin rings and small sheets of lace.

The nose is nice and strong, with plenty of roasted black malt and chocolate. Coffee is in there as well, but chocolate is more aggressive. So far, so good.

The flavor is absolutely wonderful. Coffee makes more of a statement on the palate and dark chocolate has come on like gangbusters. There's a pleasing background bitterness, but it isn't overdone as in some stouts.

This beer strikes the perfect balance between maltiness (major key) and hoppiness (minor key). The finish is long, with sweetness early and a bitter tightening late. The mouthfeel is impressively full and creamy, with no hint of heaviness.

Zonker Stout hits all the right notes. It's solid in all respects and is my new favorite stout. Too bad it isn't available in this state because I could drink this stuff all year round.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of merlin48
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a genuine motor oil pitch black. Cocoa head is short lived, fading into patchy lace down the pint tumbler. Aroma is complex and a delight to inhale. Bigtime notes of roasted coffee, lots of chocolates, cigars, fresh leather, and some vague citrus hops. Mouthfeel has moderate carbonation, is thick and rich, and has some mild hops bite. Taste echoes the nose, for the most part, but with additional smoke flavors, some black pepper, and a hint of sour citrus. Quite complex, yet very well balanced. Finishes dry and slightly on the bitter side, with a smoked coffee aftertaste. This is everything a fine Stout should be, and the distinct hops presence adds an exciting and pleasant twirl.

merlin48, Feb 04, 2004
Photo of marc77
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Utterly pitch black. Tall, dense, dogged bister head yields lace. Buttery cocoa and brown sugar sweetened medium roast coffee dominate the aroma. Secondary are dark caramel and molasses hints. Quite welcoming in nose. Paralleling the aroma, agreeably assertive mocha and cocoa butter notes are prevalent. Pronounced, mildly smoky roasted barley complements hop bitterness, transiently lending dryness. Sweetness resumes promptly in a powered, Nestle Quik like fashion. Trace citrusy hop undertone. Full bodied and dextrinous, with a creamy, low attenuation derived mouthfeel. Finishes with fleeting hints of burnt caramel, but otherwise with lingering mocha hints. A delicious stout that is rich in coffee and chocolate character, yet remains soft on the palate. Well balanced, superbly drinkable and highly recommended. Akin to a more subdued Bell's Kalamazoo.

marc77, Feb 03, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours motor oil black with ruby highlights when held to the light. The dark brown head is very small and does not last long at all. The aroma is chocolate, coffee, and some sweetness. The flavor is coffee, slight chocolate and roasted malt. The body is medium. The finish is dry coffee.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice stout that impresses with decent flavor and great mouthfeel. The deep, rich, dark body is full and quite creamy, almost syrupy in feel and coats the glass very liberally.

The nose is light and gives off coffee and roasted malt sense. The taste is mostly coffee-like with hints of chocolate and roasted nuts. The drinkability here is quite nice as the ABV is low for the style. Overall a very nice beer with less head and lace than expected.

AtLagerHeads, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of Crosling
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beautiful beer is sitting in front of me right now. This beer pours like motor oil and alofts a galatic dark brown head which disipates quickly and leaves a thin layer floating on the top. Nice lacing left on the glass.

The nose is taken over by dark roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and alcohol. before you take a sip you know this is going to be a BIG beer! The aroma is intense.

The first sip...What a delight! Huge dark roasted malts that start out sweet but then turns slightly bitter. Lots of burnt coffee flavors in this beer as well without much chocolate. Much more caramel than chocolate.

A very rich and assertive stout. Nice balancing! Nice Everything!

Crosling, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of tar
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first tried this beer while doing field work in Wyoming and made sure to bring a few back with me to Chicago (wish I had brought more). Pours a nice thick black-even when held up to a light, none passes through. A thinish, red-brown, foamy head diminishes fairly quickly to a thin layer of light brown bubbles. Wonderful smell of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. Full bodied, smooth, and very tasty. Lovely coffee and chocolate malt taste. Filling but highly drinkable. An outstanding beer and definitely one of my favorites.

tar, Nov 18, 2003
Photo of JISurfer
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This, to me, is easily a solid 4.0 beer. It was a very nice black color, which had me thinking it was going to be super heavy and chewy. Well, it was heavy, but not as I expected. Actually it was quite light at the same time. I was a crisp, iced coffee like taste, with small hints of chocolate malts. The head was a nice thick one. Brownish-red color head that lasted a little bit and then flattened out to a laceing. The smell was similar to the taste but had more likeness to an Imperial, which is a great thing. All in all, I liked this one. It's a heavier brew, but is easliy a refreshing one as well.

JISurfer, Oct 16, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a...uh...black...no....**BLACK**, crude oil color. Just the slightest amount of ruby red is able to penetrate the edges of this inky brew. Silky smooth layer of tan-colored head persists and clings nicely to the sides of the glass. Aromas are wonderful...chocolate, caramel, roasted coffee beans, caramel. Flavor follows nicely. Bitter chocolate, fresh coffee, roasted malts. Finishes with a slightly acidic-coffee flavor...dry, too. Definitely got better as it warmed. Quite tasty and a bonus for me in that it's available here in Richmond.

OldFrothingSlosh, Oct 03, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This Wyoming beauty pours black with a frothy brown head.
Aroma: The nose is roasty, with a definite smell of bittersweet chocolate.
Flavor: It has a medium mouthfeel with an almost oily texture. The finish is dry. This is a straight ahead, dry stout. It's very nicely done.

jcalabre, Sep 26, 2003
Photo of Morris729
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black in color with a fat creamy tan colored head with a very nice retention. Nose is roasted chocolaty malts and fresh brewed coffee. Fairly full in body and smooth and creamy in texture. Taste is dominated by flavors of bittersweet chocolate with some additional notes of espresso and smoky charcoal. This is a fantastic stout and is a beer that I would always keep on hand if it were available here. Purchased from Vintage Cellar.

Morris729, Jun 07, 2003
Photo of kaszeta
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer camed with a deep, deep black body and a thick dark caramel head that lingered. The beer sports a strong roasted malt aroma with plenty of mocha turns, and a bit of a pleasant burnt smell. Tastewise, this was a wonderful stout: a bit of initial bite, plenty of sweet maltiness rolling over your tongue, fading to coffee and roasted malt aftertaste. A well-balanced, smooth, rolling mouth feel. A very drinkable stout, easy one of my top five. I highly recommend it.

kaszeta, May 23, 2003
Photo of RBorsato
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark black with a low dark brown head, decent carbonation and decent lace. Strong chocolate malt aroma. Chocolate and roasty malt flavor - Rich and Robust ! Medium (leans full) bodied and creamy with a roasty finish. Awesome !!

Hard to choose between this and Moose Juice Stout so I'll choose both !!

Note: Silver medal winner 1994 GABF (Dry Stout)

Best By: Nov (assuming '02 - "02" embossed on bottom of bottle)
Tasted: 04/25/03

RBorsato, Apr 28, 2003
Photo of Murph
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with only the slightest bit of light creeping around the edges and a nice creamy brown head that slowly sinks and leaves minimal lace. Huge roasted malt nose with big coffee characteristics and an nice burnt background. The taste is more of the same on the tongue with a starter of slightly sweet malt that soon turns bitter with a big roasted malt bite that is somewhat like a nice dark roast coffee. The roasted flavors fade towards the finish as a nice burnt flavor comes in and lingers slightly just to remind you what that last taste was like. The mouthfeel of this brew gets better and better the longer it sits as it becomes a bit smoother and seems to almost thicken into a medium heavy body. A very drinkable stout that would be great on draught and is sure to see some more time in my fridge.

Murph, Mar 06, 2003
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Prepare yourself for this one, it's a keeper. The pour reminds me of the 20W-50 I used to put into my VW. Not as thick, but this is a solid beer. Awesome looking mocha head that I initially thought had a shot at lingering due to its creamy foam, but alas it was gone inside of two minutes.

Interesting aroma experience for me. I detected some kind of grassy, earthy smell that I couldn't quite identify, seemed a little out of place for a stout, it had me thinking this was going to be a break from the mainstream stout style. Towards the end of the glass the smell turned abruptly to strong chocolate and coffee persuasion. I'm not sure how that happened. I had been munching on popcorn prior to the tasting, maybe that affected my olfactory pickups for a bit until the stout burned on through. Fantastic aroma eventually, though.

The is a different stout in that it starts out with more of a bite than the typical stout. A very smooth mouthfeel, nice mellow coffee tones at first, followed by a slightly bitter finish. Towards the end, the chocolate started coming through really strong, it's unusual for a beer flavor profile to change like that from beginning to end. Maybe I was just picking up the flavors better as the liquid warmed up a bit. Wish I'd had another to explore this more thoroughly, I see a mail order in the future...

This beer is quite well-balanced between the malt and hops, it's an easy drinker for the whole six pack, a difficult statement for a stout as my mouth can become anesthetized (sp) after a few dark ones. This beer makes quite the statement, however.

brewdlyhooked13, Oct 31, 2002
Photo of Dogbrick
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a glass o' road tar. In other words, it's very dark. Thin and quickly diminishing head. Satisfying coffee/roasted barley aroma, and a nice hops/malt balance made for good drinking. Glad I got a sixer of this. Unfortunately my dad cleaned me out when he was visiting from CA and sealing our driveway!

Dogbrick, Oct 07, 2002
Photo of beernut7
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This solid stout exhibits a sweet roasted aroma and nice deep color. The smoky roasted malt flavor is supported by the heavy body. There is a nice light bitter brush in the finish rounding off a sound representation of the style.

beernut7, Aug 21, 2002
Photo of Wildman
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured an amazing jet black color and formed a very nice dark brown, bubbly head that left some nice lace. I had an aroma of malt, hops and coffee. The flavor was of malt and coffee. The finish was a touch bitter and had elements of the coffee. A very nice stout.

Wildman, Aug 18, 2002
Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Midnight black...as black as black can be with a milkshake like bubbly brown head...smells a bit like a milkshake too with a sweet nose of milk chocolate.

Some good java tones on the palate and more of a bittersweet dark cocoa rather than the milk chocolate on the buds..a little syruppy and if I had one compaint, that would be it...It finishes on a nice dry note..Very good stout..not many look better than this one, and the rest is pretty good too..

ZAP, Aug 11, 2002
Photo of Bighuge
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one beautiful beer. Pitch black. One finger creamy dark brown head with great retention. Nice aroma is a blend of chocolate malts, roast malt and java. This has a nice creamy, silky mouthfeel. Body is pretty full. Maybe medium-full. Taste contains a lot of bittersweet chocolate attributes and roasted bitterness. Some slight coffee tones are detected also. I think I'm picking up a significant hop bitterness here also. Pretty nice brew here.

Thanks to Cokes for the sample.

Bighuge, Jul 16, 2002
Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a best enjoyed before date clearly printed.

Appearance: Ink black with a brown lace that does not fade.

Smell: Roasted coffee with a little sweetness, a bit earthy with a touch of hops also.

Taste: Full bodied, rich roasted barley palate with a smooth and textured mouth feel. Equal amounts of hop bitterness and flavour within different levels of this complex stout. Roasted flavours range from espresso to charcoal with a vague nutty back round and mild acidic twang. The twang seems to linger for a while with an earthy character.

Notes: A kick-ass robust style stout that would make any brewery proud to be the creators of such a fine beverage. It has over 16 awards for proof if my word is not enough.

Jason, Apr 05, 2002
Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.